Monday, 13 August 2012

Legally Ginger!!

Hi There!

I've spent the last few weeks knitting a secret project for my friend who has just finished Law College, and is finally qualified. I decided to try and get her a present at first, a Solicitor Barbie, in a Legally Blonde style, but as you can imagine an intelligent barbie doll is kind of impossible to find. So I decided to knit her a mini me solicitor doll, Legally Ginger.
I received two of these knitted mini me's as a present on my wedding day, they were a complete surprise and were a present off a very talented knitter. I loved my knitted Bride and Groom who looked just like us and it gave me the idea that I could try and make something like that for my friend, something she would hopefully like and keep, and would be a complete surprise.

So it started with a book I bought ages ago on a whim when I started knitting: it's called 'Knitted Icons' by Carol Meldrum and it is used to make mini celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Britney Spears. I've never had enough courage to attempt one of these, till now but it is very simple. Which shows how you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. You make a basic figure and then dress it into the celebrity of your choice. So I used the book to make the basic body type. Using 4mm needles and 4mm wool in a peach colour I created... a very basic woolen... naked person. This is made by using stocking stitch to create the body, you make 2 oval pieces and sew them together down the sides, then you make the legs and arms by knitting long tubes,and stitch them onto the body. For the head you make 2 oval pieces which is then sewn together. As usual the stuffing was the hard part and I used pillow stuffing to try and create the figure and you always need more stuffing then you first imagine. The one down side to the doll was the legs, which I thought were a little bit too long so I put them higher up on the doll then the pattern said.

Next came the hair, and for this I used, believe it or not a pattern from Cher's hair. You make a round knitted piece and then attach the hair using the fringe technique I mastered with the marble rug from earlier, by cutting strands and connecting them using a crochet hook. For this I used orange wool in a size 4mm.

I also made the face at this point by just stitching the mouth on in a pink smile and making french knots in black to make the eyes and a stitched tiny little eyelashes above the knots. I made the face at this point because the stitches are pulled through the top of the head. The nose was made by sewing into the face with the skin coloured wool. Then using white felt, I got out of a children's crafting set cut out collars and shirt front, then using pearl pins created earrings and a button to hold the shirt together.

I have to say however, that I was disappointed with the clothes available in Carol Meldrum's book, hardly any of them are knitted and are made out of fabric or felt, and if you are really bad at sewing like I am it didn't appeal to me to design my own suit. So I turned to the talented lady who made my bride and groom and she gave me her secret: her copy of the 'Knit your own Royal Wedding' by Fiona Goble. This book was released around the royal wedding last March and has patterns for every single royal family member, but most importantly patterns for knitted suits. I particularly wanted to knit a suit jacket so used the pattern for the lounge suit. It's quite simply one piece wrapped around with some increasing and decreasing on the front to make the lapels. I knitted this with 2 3/4 Black arran wool, on my favourite 4 mm needles. I invented the pencil skirt myself by knitting one piece in stocking stitch and wrapping it onto the body to make a skirt the binded off edge was left at the bottom of the skirt to make a slight frilled edge, and a left a split at the back to create a real pencil skirt.

Trial and error was a large part of this project, I made a few different shoes until  I got the size right. Using the pattern for the Queen's shoes I made these in red, my friend's favourite colour and made tiny little bows to stick on the front. The easiest part of this project was the barrister wig, which was actually the Queen's hair stitched on top of Cher's hair. (I never thought I would say that sentence!) To finish the design I made a very basic briefcase out of black felt, and gave the doll a pearl necklace from a string of dress pearls off my actual wedding cake which I had kept and use pearl pins for buttons on the jacket.
I was happy with the final doll, It was challenge to make some very small knits and very intricate decorations, and I had to concentrate a lot to make sure I kept up with the pattern. I do think my gift looked a lot like its owner in the end and for my first ever doll I'm happy with it. I will never think my patterns are perfect, but yes it was a good project, and everyone should be afraid of when the mini me will emerge in the future.

Lots of Love,
Bomo Knitting XX